- Twitter compiled its most popular tweets, hashtags, and topics of 2021.
- Many of the top tweets and trends reflect current news and events from the year.
- Some of this year’s most popular tweets came from notable figures including President Joe Biden and K-Pop group BTS.
As 2021 comes to a close, we have a lot to reflect on — especially when it comes to viral social media moments.
To commemorate an eventful year, Twitter compiled 2021’s most popular tweets, hashtags, and topics across the platform. Some of this year’s most popular tweets may not be a surprise to avid internet users, but in true 2021 fashion, a few unexpected posts and trends topped Twitter this year.
Although there are parts of this year we may wish to forget, users never stopped liking, retweeting, and sharing their thoughts and quips. Here are the top Twitter trends of the year, according to the company.
President Joe Biden had the most liked Tweet of 2021
—Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 20, 2021
On the morning of his inauguration, President Joe Biden tweeted “It’s a new day in America,” ushering in role as the 46th president of the United States. More than four million people liked it.
The tweet came as Biden — who beat out former President Donald Trump in the tumultuous 2020 presidential election in November — prepared for inaugural ceremonies that spanned a five-day period with multiple virtual and socially-distanced in-person celebrations.
After Biden’s victory, and weeks before his inauguration, Trump claimed the election was fraudulent and encouraged his supporters to “stop the steal” at a rally on January 6 that preceded the Capitol insurrection. Trump’s voter fraud claims have since been debunked.
The tweet with the most RTs this year was a message from BTS
—방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) March 30, 2021
A tweet from the popular K-Pop group BTS encouraging its followers to #StopAsianHate was the most retweeted post of 2021, with over a million retweets, according to Twitter.
BTS currently has more than 42 million followers on Twitter worldwide and fans of the group, known as the A.R.M.Y., were also responsible for making #BTS the top hashtag of 2021, Twitter reported.
The BTS tweet came a few weeks after a 21-year-old white man shot and killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at three spas in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area.
Violence and hate against Asian Americans skyrocketed during the first year of the pandemic. In response, people took to social media using the hashtag #StopAsianHate to spread awareness of the rampant discrimination against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the US.
Using the hashtag, notable figures and groups like BTS shared their own experiences with racism, calling on followers to stand up and speak out for groups who are vulnerable to discrimination and violence. “We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subjects of hatred and violence,” BTS tweeted. “You, and I we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
In May, President Biden signed a bill into law that addressed the spike in anti-Asian hate crimes over the past year. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act directs the Department of Justice to expedite the review of coronavirus-related hate crimes, provide guidance to state and local governments to improve public reporting on hate crimes, and raises awareness about hate crimes during the public-health crisis, Insider reported.
Everyone was talking about trending TV shows this year
—Twitter Data (@TwitterData) December 9, 2021
Staying at home and quarantining during the pandemic changed the way we watch and discuss television shows.
Reality TV was one of the most tweeted about television genres this year, according to Twitter. The reality competition show Big Brother Brasil was the most tweeted about show this year.
Meanwhile, Squid Game, the Netflix series that took the internet by storm, was the third most discussed TV show worldwide, Twitter reported. Squid Game generated nearly $900 million for Netflix and became the streaming platform’s most-watched original show, with over 132 million people watching at least two minutes.
The Olympics was Twitter’s top sporting event
—#Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) September 5, 2021
After the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics were originally postponed because of the pandemic, the 2021 games quickly took over Twitter to become the most discussed sports match and event worldwide, according to the social media platform.
The Tokyo games became the most expensive summer games in Olympic history, according to Insider. The games cost more than $26 billion to produce this year.
Twitter’s top emojis helped users share their feelings
—Twitter Data (@TwitterData) December 9, 2021
The “crying face” and “tears of joy” emoji were the top-used emojis on Twitter this year, the social media platform reported.
The laugh-cry emoji, or 😂, was also the most-used emoji in the world this year, according to the Unicode Consortium, the organization responsible for encoding universal characters for the web.
In a study published earlier this month, Unicode reported that 92% of the online population worldwide use emojis, noting that the laugh-cry emoji accounts for 5% of that use. The emoji has been the most popular icon on iOS and macOS devices since at least 2017, according to the data.
The 10 most-used emojis worldwide this year included: 😂 ❤️ 🤣 👍 😭 🙏 😘 🥰 😍 😊 .